Nintendo is researching potential problems that may prevent them from delivering a region-free experience for their Nintendo “NX” console.
Nintendo has no plans to remove region-locking from Nintendo 3DS and Wii U — current-generation Nintendo systems. However, due to consumer feedback and market proposals, Nintendo said they are investigating the possibilities for a region-free Nintendo “NX” platform.
In a Question & Answer session from Nintendo’s financial results briefing, for the fiscal year ended on March 31, 2015, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata addressed the issue. While the Q&A has not yet been published in English, an unofficial translation of Iwata’s response has been provided.
“Removing region-locking from current game machines presents various issues, so we don’t consider that to be very realistic. However, regarding NX, given the customer feedback and proposals from the market, while nothing has been decided yet, we’re currently investigating internally what problems there would be in realizing it. You can think of that as the current situation. I understand your desire, so I’d like to look at it optimistically going forward.”
Nintendo “NX,” announced in March, will work together with a new membership service developed by both Nintendo and DeNA. It will integrate devices such as smartphones, PCs, and the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
In October 2014, Iwata said “Unlocking would require various problems to be solved, so while I can’t say today whether or not we intend to unlock, we realize that it is one thing that we must consider looking to the future.”
In July 2013, Iwata acknowledged the subject of of region-locking by saying “There are some reasons behind it.”
Having region-free Nintendo software would allow consumers to purchase Nintendo titles exclusive to regions outside of their own. It could also, perhaps, encourage fans to learn a new language.
Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 home consoles are both region-free.